Monday, August 14, 2006

Alone. Good or bad?

I think I'm in one of those moods today. Maybe it's because I had one of those weekends again.

I'm once again in one of those places where I can't seem to make any sense out of things. Most of the people in my life don't make sense to me. The things in my life don't make sense to me. God...even my life itself doesn't seem to make much sense these days. What do I want in life? What types of people do I want in life? If anyone has the answer to these questions, I'm all ears.

I spent the greater part of my weekend in isolation. But, unlike times where I deliberately avoid the world (i.e. if I really need to study or get some work done), this time I felt like my arms were outstretched, but nobody was reaching back. I mean, people were flaking me left and right. For a moment, I was almost convinced that I had some infectious disease that caused people to want to stay away. Fortunately, it wasn't a disease after all. It was just indigestion...

At any rate, I had a strange experience yesterday that can pretty much sum up my weekend and the subsequent "mood" that was created as a result. After church, rather than make a 28 mile round trip from church to home and back again, I decided to stay in the area to eat (which has become sort of norm for me lately). My mom was out of town and I have no idea where my old man was (they're divorced so I had two different places where I could've been. But, imagine the luck, they were both gone). So, with limited options, I went to a local restaurant instead. There, I enjoyed some great food, relaxed a bit, and even managed to get a little studying done in the process. But, as I should have predicted, other folks at my church had the same idea. I ran into three different groups of people from my church at this particular location. Invariably, they all asked me the same question: "Andre, what are you doing here by yourself?" I gave them all the same response, flashed the same polite smile, while thinking the same bad things about each of them in my head.

Normally, that would've been all to it. But, things took a strange turn when my waitress suggested the same thing. In a sort of flirty way, she said to me (not in the exact words, but you get the gist) "Every time you come here, you're by yourself. You're too nice and too handsome to always be alone". Normally, this would've been grounds for me to get her manager or -- at the very least -- cuss her out, especially when she doesn't know me well enough to make that kind of assessment. But instead, her comments (which were actually pretty innocent) made me ask myself how pathetic I was. If I'm so "nice and handsome" (as she put it), intelligent, kind-hearted, selfless, etc., then why am I sitting at a booth by myself? Why am I sitting here in isolation?

On the one hand, I tend to go back to my initial suggestion that I spend most my time alone to study, work, or just to chill during my "Me Time". But, on the other hand, I tend to think that some other things are at work here. Maybe it has to do with the fact that most of the relationships in my life, perhaps with the exception of my country-scattered family, are (for the most part) conditional. I'm friends with people if certain things are in order or when certain things happen. Perhaps this weekend, the conditions weren't favorable enough for me to do anything but to be a loner.

In another funny story, I went to a jazz festival later that night. Of course, I also flew solo on this one. No suprise there. What was funny was that a friend of mine from campus was there also. She came and sat with me. But it wasn't before she said "I'm glad I finally found somebody here that I know." Yes, she's a friend of mine. But, was she sitting with me because we were friends or was it because no one else she knew was there? Now, don't get me wrong: we had a great time together (I mean, how could you not have fun with a night of jazz?). But an annoying question kept reverberating in my head:

Are people friends with me just because or is it to satisty their own conditions?

I guess that's one I'll never know. In the meantime, I suppose that the bigger question for me is, given the conditional relationships I have in my life right now, is it good or bad to be alone?

Your thoughts?

- ACL

61 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

joanne said...

Andre my dear. Being alone or not should not be the issue. God created EACH of us with a need for companionship on some level. Show me a person without any type of companion and I'll show you an old, empty, lifeless soul. So, the problem becomes WHAT TYPE OF RELATIONSHIPS YOU BUILD!

If the "conditional" friendships you have aren't working out for you, look elsewhere. But, I don't think the whole point is to abandon people altogether. That's not in God's design.

Be encouraged my dear friend.

KC said...

I think that Joanne is right on this one. It's true that EVERYBODY needs somebody else. That's not debatable. Your problem appears to be that you're choosing the WRONG people!

Since you live in Michigan, I dug up a few numbers for you. The population in Michigan is 9,938,444. If you can't find some genuine, loyal friends from a sample of almost 10 million, then maybe you really DO have issues! LOL!

Keep your head up, dawg!

monique said...

Andre,
What makes you think that you friendships are "conditional"? If I missed that somewhere, you'll have to explain it to me again, I'm a little slow :)

Did you ask any of your friends if they wanted to go out to eat, or did you just assume that THEY should have asked you? Were you standing around your friends while they were discussing where they wanted to eat and they excluded you? I'm just trying to get the big picture here. If they are your friends, I can't see how they would "flake" you.
Regarless of your situation I'll have to go with Joanne on this one, don't just dismiss people altogether.

Andre said...

For starters, I'm sorry for any somber and melancholy tones that I might be releasing. I'm not suicida, depressed or anything like that. I'm just in one of my "I'm hating the world and analyzing it at the same time" sort of moods.

But, let me clarify some my obvsious miscommunications. I had to rethink the angle I took with this particular post. I wanted to go back and change some things I said (i.e. the title), but some bells can't be unring...

The main point of this post wasn't to call to question whether or not I need companionship in my life. I agree that we ALL need others to some extent. So, maybe I should've used a different title. My concern is: With the conditional friends that I seem to have, would I be better off going at things alone or, to put it more specifically, WITHOUT THEM? That's the real question.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?" That line implies that the people you call 'friends' are so bad for you that their label is interchangeable with "enemy". Essentially, 'friends' and 'enemies' become the same thing.

In my case, the more appropirate question would be "With friends like mine, who needs to be alone?" To me, having certain friendships is almost synonymous with just being by yourself; unless, of course, they're in the mood to have me around when it suits them (hence the "conditional" label). Hope that makes sense.

Thanks for your comments and your insight...

Andre said...

@ Monique: I'm sorry, 'Nique. I think I missed your question. Sorry 'bout that.

But, after going through your comments, my response could pretty much apply to your question as well. But, one thing about your question is noticeable different: you're asking me about a specific incident while wanting to understand "the big picture". My "big picture" question is simple: Do I have friendships that are just friendships or are they based on some type of condition?

If I'm wrong, and my friendships are NOT conditionally based, then why would I even HAVE to ask to associate with those whom I call friends? Shouldn't that be apart of the equation anyway? Why should something HAVE to happen in order for them to look my way? With the jazz festival story, what would've happened if she was ALREADY WITH somebody? What would've happened if she saw somebody else there that she knew? Each of these questions fit into that "big picture" I was talking about...

Now, as it relates to "conditions"...

Conditions show a relationship between two different variables. In math, for instance, a conditional statement would show how x impacts y. That being said, one could argues that "If x happens, then y happens." Or, to look at it my way, "Y only happens if X happens". That's how I've come to define many of my relationships. Is the way it's supposed to be?

ajbendaña said...

I believe that most people blur the line between the words friend and aquaintence. There are two types of friends.

1)Close friends: People you have known your whole life and are like family. You may not always get along but they are people you truley care about genuinly.

2)Good friends: IMO (in my opinion)most people only get a handful of these throughout thier lives. These are the friends that are their through think and thin with you. The ones you can always count on. You can consider them brothers or sisters.

Then thiers the aquaintences. People who you hang with on ocassions and are cool. You really can expect much form someone like this and these ten to be the condional type.

Now i can emapthize with your question because it one i have tackled myself. So to put it simply:

Dont burn bridges (i.e) "My concern is: With the conditional friends that I seem to have, would I be better off going at things alone or, to put it more specifically, WITHOUT THEM?" You can never expect to much from people for you will be let down more times than not. But haveing the ability to disern who is what type of friend to you can help you deal with the diffrent types and enjoy thier company. I try to take positives a person has and put the qualities I dont like about them in my given box. In that way I already know what things I can expect and then they dont bother me as much and I can focus on what positives they provide to my life.

Now some people are just really suck, the bad eggs, the ones that are always getting into bad situations. these are the exception.

It all comes down to the fact that life is all about people and exerience. Dont close yourself of to those things if you dont have to. Hope this makes sense.

cynthia said...

I guess that I'm joining you as the minority, Andre. I don't think that you should waste any more time trying to build or sustain relationships if you keep feeling like your being systematically excluded (I didn't get that message from what you wrote, but that could be it).

If you have to beg and plead to be involved in a "friend's" life, I don't think they're your friend in the first place.

Friendship, to me, is about loving and sharing with those close to you. If you have something, as a friend you'd want to share that experience with someone you love. But if I have to ASK you for it, it doesn't have the same weight than if that friend OFFERED it.

I'm not trying to ruffle feathers Andre. But if people don't pay you any attention, you shouldn't pay them any.

You Know Who said...

Being a person who's been "flaked" (remember? UM vs. Penn State...?), I get where you're coming from! Seriously, I know that already made plans with that game and you DID offer with me before so I can personally vouch for how big-hearted you are.

Andre, think of friendship like the stock market. If your returns aren't matching your investments, it's time to reconsider where you put your eggs. I think that you're just too nice of a person with too big of a heart to limit yourself to a few people who take advantage of you and don't treat you the same way.

J. Alex said...

Andre, I've got just a couple of observations:

1. You should be careful how you word things. Even though you said that being alone isn't your point, that's exactly what the title says. Your being inconsistent w/ what you said in your post versus what you're saying now. Its hard to offer feedback if your unsure where YOU stand.

2. I agree with Cynthia to a small degree. If there are people in your life who are not building you up and supporting you (even with small gestures like inviting you out with them), then you shouldn't invest in them so much.

3. But, as everyone else said, don't give up on the rest of the world just because a few people "conditionalize" your friendship. Not everybody acts like that. You just happened to pick the wrong people to call your friends, that's all.

Cheer up!

2.

Anonymous said...

Andre, Andre, Andre...

How many times do you have to go over this until it sinks in your head?! If memory serves correctly, you had this same problem before (assuming this involves the same people).

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

What is this? Like 10 times already?

"big sis" said...

Andre, your going to make me cry! You know that you are always welcome to the "Nati", it's only a 4 hour drive.

Take it from someone that grew up the oldest of 5 kids in a 3 bedroom 1 bath home. Privacy and alone time was something that I longed for and couldn't wait for!

When I finally moved away and got my own place I loved the quiet and having my own space, but I did occassionally get lonely. That's natural. I learned to do things on my own, i.e. go to the movies, got out to eat, concerts etc. At first it was really tough for me, but I learned to appreciate my own company.

Now that I'm married, I long for that alone time again. I look forward to my husband going on buisness or fishing trip (I'm sure he does too), and that's okay.

My point is: it's okay to be alone and do things on your own. Friends serve different roles. Some of my friends are not the "let's go and hang-out" kind of friends. Some friends are my call once a month and unload on everything that's going on in my life friends (free therapy).

Your a good person with a good heart, deep down inside you know who your true friends are. They may not necessarily be around when you get that(rare)whim to go out.

Sorry again for the long post.

saved_sinner said...

From the sounds of it, you're facing some tough issues which you're obviously concerned about. So, before you go out and start burning bridges (good point, ajbendana), you should confront this like you seem to do with everything else: prayer, prayer, and more prayer.

Don't get too hasty and do things you'll regret.

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

you would not believe how many people feel as you do , you must ask yourself before concluding your opinion .....what kind of friend are you ,when asked to join in prior to this weekend ,how many times did you refuse so you could study or have alone time? could it be the people you refer to in this post think you are uninterested and feel you would say no as usual?so they dont include you or make other plans which you cannot be included :::family , intimate relationships. etc. or do you need new friends??????????


the lady who joined you in the jazz club, she may have been interested in you or was glad to see your handsome face to have some one to sit with, so where are her friends ?? she was alone like you and reached out ,take it as it is , a chance to become better friends . I, like you, are very analytical, but have learned to try to take things as face value , relationships are tricky , you have to put into it to take out of it !or it withers . You have a great deal going for you as we can tell from this perspective , try to let the negative fall away ,stop worrying why someone excludes you and start including them in your plans ,try ,it may be hard , relax and let your controlling mind go and enjoy ,time alone , with old friends or make new ones . AND AS FAR AS THE COMMENT WHY ARE YOU ALONE ? Well who says we always have to have someone around , strong independant ,intellegent people can be alone and not have issues with being alone , self confidency need no shadow.

The flirty waitress ????? I believe she was complimenting you , being a little friendly , unless she said it sleazy ,then you may want to re think that one and Pathetic for what ???alone , who says you cannot enjoy your own company .relax a little .
:}
G.E. :0)

Diane said...

Andre, I deliberately waited for a while before I commented on your post. I wanted to think about it first, and I have. And......I still don't really have anything new to add to what's already been said, except perhaps this: The Bible says, for a man to have friends, a man must first show himself friendly. Now I don't see you in a social setting so I can't comment on your relationships with people. I don't presume to judge your friendships. You'll have to analyze (ever noticed that "anal" are the first four letters of that word?!) your relationships and draw your own conclusions. Do you ever invite friends out to Sunday lunch, or do you wait to see if they ask you first? Make some overtures and then if you're consistently shot down by the same people, I think it's safe to assume they have a different view of your "friendship" than you do. If the relationships aren't reciprocal (there's THAT word again, too!) I think it's safe to say it's time to move on and make new friends who DO value your friendship and give as much as they take. As another commenter said, before any action is taken, pray, pray, and pray some more.

As an addendum, since I thought I was almost done, but this occurred to me, I think you're in a difficult transitional time in your work and schooling, too. You're older than most of the college students you're interacting with, and younger than most of your colleagues, I would guess. I'm sure that affects the friendships you might or might not make in your career and schooling. Just a thought....

BTW, thank you for your comments on my blog and particularly on Jessica's blog. You have a gift for encouraging and uplifting, my friend, and I sincerely appreciate it. I consider you one of my best blogging "friends"...truly, Andre. As much of a long distance friend that I can be, I'll do my best to be a genuine friend to you.

Take heart, and be of good cheer, my brother. :-)
Love,
Diane

JD said...

Wow, I'm glad that I wasn't one of the people that you saw in the resturant this time!

Seeing how I'm a person a Liiiiitle closer to the situation, let me pose this question:

Is it that NO ONE wants to go out with you, or just the people that YOU want to go out with are unavailable?

Hmmm. Let's let that one sink in.

I know of a couple of women who want nothing more than to spend every waking moment with you, Andre. But what do you do: FLAKE THEM OFF and get irritated by them.
(You already know who I'm talking about)

If the few others "friends" that you have chose to spend their Sunday afternoons with their significant others, should they be labeled as "conditional" for that reason?

Just a thought....

JD said...

P.S.

I'm buying the tickets to the game tomorrow. I have others that COULD go with me, but I turned them down because I wanna chill with my friend, Andre.

I hope that the concert is included in the ticket price......

Andre said...

I think I've created a monster here. The whole point of this post wasn't to focus on individual events that happened. Sure, I mentioned specific incidents to drive my point home. But, ultimately, I just used these events to declare a "big picture" message (there's the term again, Monique). All I was trying to ask is if you have relationships that are based on conditions (ifs, whens, or thens), then are they worth sticking close to your heart or should take them for what they are and go without them.

This isn't specifically about dinners or jazz festivals or whatever other incidents you can come up with. I'm simply trying to identify a larger and more centralized theme that can be explored; using two similar events as a reference point.

So, while I appreciate the insight, it would be more useful if it were done within the context of the bigger picture; not smaller, isoloated events.

But, thanks for your comments...

Andre said...

Let's try this individually now:

@ ajbendaña: What's up dude? I thought you fell into the Atlantic or got lost somewhere in South Beach. Good to hear from you.

To address your point: It's funny. On of the things I'm most at struggle with is defining the different levels of relationship I have. Sometimes I think that I'm falsely labelling people and then expecting them to perform in the way most suitable for that label. For instance, if I consider somebody as the "close" one (you listed it as #1), then I tend to put more expectation on them than what SHOULD be expected. Equates to disappointment. Likewise, someone who I only consider an acquaintance (your #3) only gets a little consideration from me, when they MAY want more. Equates to me trying to avoid them or being abrupt and cutting them away.

The point is, sometimes these things are a product of my own doing and my own labeling.

@ Cynthia: There's something to be said about strength in numbers. LOL!

Interesting point you raised. I think that some people would use that same arguement and I feel they'd be correct. But, maybe the minority is really the majority (and not just in this comment section). Thanks!

@ You know who: Awww! Whatever man! LOL!

Anyway, I suppose that the stock market analogy was a good as anything I could come up with. Besides the lack of return on investments, there is also a certain level of imbalance and uncertainty involved. You just NEVER know how a person is going to be from one day to the next (I think you know that dealing with me!). Building relationships is a crap shoot. Sometimes you have a BIG pay day, while sometimes you walk home with nothing but the clothes on your back...

@ J. Alex: Hello again to you too. How are things in your part of the world?

1. I get the idea of watching what I say. I could change my title now, but that would make my post and my comments sort of nonsensical because they won't relate to the title. As I said, bells can't be unrung.

2. The challenge that comes with "not investing" is that you really can't be sure if your decision is the best one. Like I said, it's like any other form of gambling you do.

3. I never said that I planned to give up on the rest of the world. But, again, I can see how that misconstrued by my "being alone". When I said that, I meant 'being left alone from the so-called relationships I thought I had', not alone from the whole world. The "isolation" that I speak of is within the context of the once-active associations that I had with the closer people to me; not to everyone.

If I were to abandon EVERYBODY, then I would have to have a going-out-of-business sale on my blog, where I'd sell each of my entries for $3 each.

(continued...)

Andre said...

@ anonymous: OK, OK! You got me! I'm an idiot. I'm persistent. I'm a persistent idiot.

Or, maybe (according to Einstein) if I keep doing the same thing expecting different results, I'm insane. Hard to tell these days.

@ My beautiful, intelligent older sister: What's up man? How come you don't ever return a brotha's calls? Funny acting...

Anyway, thanks for invite to the 'Nati. But you know how I hate driving. But, you know I'm good for it anyway...

Secondly, I agree that privacy is pretty cool at times. I mean, why do you think it is I don't have a roommate any more?! Well, on top of that being the worse experience of my life, I also enjoyed coming home to an empty place where MY RULES abide and MY identity is the only one around.

But, in social settings that personality is not always as prevalent. As somebody else mentioned, some things are more fun when they're shared with another person/persons. But, when I feel like I have to beg and plead to get people's attention, that's when things go sour for me.

What's the deal with YOUR momma, by the way? Much to talk about...

@ saved_sinner: What's up Rob? How ya been?

I like to see my decisions not as "burning bridges", but more like procuring my emotional sanity. To me, the best way to get over something is to vent (which makes blogging so fun!), get insight from others, reflect, and then act. If that causes "bridge burning" with others, then that's on them. I didn't do it. Besides I'm not that good at arson.

@ Greeny: Hey love. To respond to some of your points:

(1) Not to brag, but I know EXACTLY how I am. I know that I don't place conditions on anybody who I claim is close to me. In that regard, I see myself as a minority. If anything, I'd place conditions on the people who came after those who were there from the beginning. I'll use you and J. Azex as an example (please Alex, don't shoot. It's ONLY an example! LOL!). If he told me that he will only comment on posts where you DIDN'T leave a comment, I'm not going to delete your messages just to accommodate him. If he can't get past you commenting as well, then I can't support that by building a condition on the relationship between you and me. That's a pretty bad example, but I hope you get the point about conditions.

Also, I know that I'm persistent. Even if friends might've turned me down a thousand times before, I'll never say "Well, I know that they'll say 'no', so I won't even bother asking". That's just not how I work. But, again, maybe my problem is assuming that others act the same way...

At your last point: I think that it's easy to not be so analytical if things happen once or twice. In that case, I would agree that I should examine every little thing. But, when particular behaviors become a PATTERN, that's when it's a problem. If my jazz partner sat with me as her only recourse for that ONE event, then it wouldn't have the same negative effect than if she did that all the time. Simply put: the frequency of the behavior is more bothersome than the behavior itself. Hope this all makes sense.

Thanks for your comments, as always!

@ Diane: Gulp! You pulled out the infamous "R-word" word. I really don't know how much it has to do with the point of this particular post, but your insight into it was pretty helpful. To be have friends, one must show himself friendly. Far be it for me to try and argue with the Bible...

But, you DID raise an interesting point, that I never thought about. Perhaps this is sort of a transition for me. Being a full-time professional, full-time grad student has really changed my outlook on some things. If I'm not getting pounded to death at work (yet, I seem to find time to comment to everybody in great lenght), then I'm killing myself in school (but, it pays off. I just got a 92 on a midterm that I thought I bombed!) With these pressing responsibilities, even my "Me Time" is growing thin. So, I can imagine how unavailable I might be for the "Other people's Time". Great point! I never saw it that way. I don't know if that's exactly what you were saying, but that's one of the messages I got from you.

Thank you for giving me more to consider than what I saw on the surface...even if that wasn't your intention! :)

@ JD: I don't recall ever identifying how "close" you were to the situation. I never named names NOR made implications. If you're internalizing this, it's because YOU'RE doing it...not me.

Now that I've finished with that brief intro, let me address your question:

"Is it that NO ONE wants to go out with you, or just the people that YOU want to go out with are unavailable?"

If you're asking me about the NO ONE's within the context of the people I call 'friends' or 'peers', then that's one thing. If you're generally talking about ANYBODY who can fit into the NO ONE category, then we have a different situation. A couple of kids LOVE to hang out with me all the time. According to you, "a couple of women" want to be with me day and night (though, for the life of me, I have NO IDEA who the Hades you're talking about). But, are these people friends? And, if so, to what extent? To understand the extent of relationships, refer back to ajbendaña's comments. From there, if you can tell me that these people who WANT to be around me are the "close" friends, then I'll shut up, admit that I was checkmated, and bow out.

I'll wait...

@ JD (part II): Thanks for the invite! I don't mind being the 'other' option on the checklist. I think I'm starting to get used to it by now... *joke (sort of)* :)

@ Andre: Great point, dawg. Couldn't have put it better myself.

Thanks for your comments!

JD said...

@ JD: I don't recall ever identifying how "close" you were to the situation. I never named names NOR made implications. If you're internalizing this, it's because YOU'RE doing it...not me.


Dre, I was internalizing anything. I'm closer to the situation because I KNOW YOU PERSONALLY. I guess that I should've said "Closer than those who don't know you personally." If you look at the first line that I wrote it says

"Wow, I'm glad that I wasn't one of the people that you saw in the resturant this time!"

This line was to say "Wow, I'm glad that this post isn't about me."

Thank you, dive through.

JD said...

Damn it! I meant "Drive" through

thehc said...

I can only speak for myself here Andre, but I'm friends with you (I hope) for the simplest of reasons. Your honest. That can be both a blessing and a curse as I'm also honest. People like to hear what they want to hear, not what you think is the truth or what's best for them. Sometimes after a long day of being called a right-wing nut by some and a piece of s**t liberal by others, I wonder if it would be easier to just choose a side and be at least popular with someone. But at least when we have friends, they like us for who we are, and not who we're pretending to be.

thehc said...

After reading my comment over I don't think I was very clear on my point. Let me try again. My point is, Even though you are sometimes left alone, it's only because you choose to surround yourself with a few good friends, instead of just trying to have a lot of friends. Being picky means sometimes being alone. "A good friend is a gift we give ourselves."

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~My Sweet GEM,

Now see you used that example in your reply to me and being analytical I now have to pick it apart and think and rethink if there was any reason you used that example for me !!!!!,,,HMMMMMMMMM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH
I could but wont !
sounds like you know yourself well and you are a good friend,
And dont feel we all ganged up on you or read more into what you wrote , we are all concerned about you , and want you to be happy :0}a gush of feelings came at you at one time , can be a little much LOL

I hope you know that no attack was meant only kindness
LOL
Greeneyes

monique said...

Andre, in regards to this situation, I'm going to ask you this.....If you could have it your way, what would happen? How you this situation unfold? What exactly would you want?

Anonymous said...

Are you CURRENTLY seeing someone? If not, maybe that's the problem. I don't mean to be rude or heartless but if you were in a relationship, you wouldn't be concerned with "conditional" friendships. Spend your energy on something else. Life is too short.

Andre said...

@ JD: You get no response. We already talk enough as it is.. :) And, who cares that you mistyped?! And you call ME anal...

@ HC: Sigh! We centrists take slack from everybody. I can't stand Bush, but I'm not exactly fond of Howard Dean either. The GOP are evil, but Dems are stupid.

To that end, I get where you're coming from. Sometimes I wonder if I need to turn into a hopeless and dependent person to get folks to "allow me" to gel into their world or if I'd be better off finding a new place to call my own. So -- to your rephrased point -- I think you're correct in saying that it's probably best to narrow my field down to a core group of people. The problem is: the field that I'm narrowing is already pretty small...

Thanks for your comments. Interesting post about Israel: the next evil empire.

@ Greeny: I guess since I DID call you out as being pretty analytical, so I had it comin' to me. :)

Dude, I know that you're not trying to gang up on me. Besides, I don't stand a chance against a room full of women anyway! I know you're just being my cybernetic big sister. Thanx for the concern! It's more refreshing than you know...

@ Monique: In my perfect world, Bush wouldn't be president. I'd have my Ph.D. and four books published, lifelong season tickets to Michigan football, and a Jaguar. :)

But, as it relates to this post, I'd like to be in a situation that didn't have so many silly rules attacked. I also wish that everybody wasn't so up tight and -- for lack of a better word -- insecure about things. A part of my 'situations' have been the product of people following stupid rules that don't seem to make much sense. But then again, as my esteemed pal Green-eyes pointed out, maybe I'm just being too analytical.

@ anonymous: I don't know if I entirely agree with your comments, but I appreciate your insight nonetheless. I don't think that my relationship status has any bearing on how I respond to other people. I wouldn't spend every waking moment with one person, even my significant other. I'd like to think that my relationships could cut across the board. But, again, my thinking is not like most people's. :)

Thanks for your comments.

Andre said...

@ Monique: I meant to say "I'd like to be in a situation that didn't have so many silly rules ATTACHED."

JD, don't pay any attention to my joke about you always fixing little typos...:)

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

DUDE??????
;)

joanne said...

Andre,

After going through some of the other people's questions and comments and then reading your responses, I'm starting to piece together your point. I can see where you're coming from.

But, I think that you should recall the fact that even our relationship with Christ has conditions. He tells us "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Here Jesus explicitly puts a condition on us. People do the same thing.

Just a thought.

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

DUDE??????
;)I have never been mistaken for a DUDE in my life , ever! this cyber thingy can be andronoges(spelling $#%@^) , later chicky!
LMAO

Greeneyed GIRL form planet earth

take me with a grain of salt ,,,,or sugar ,,,,,I shall buzz of now !

Andre said...

@ Greeny GIRL: If I'm not mistaken, you often call me a "Sweet Gem". If anybody's being androgynous, it's you! LOL!

Thanks for making my day as usual.

By the way, I decided to post so that you wouldn't be the last one to... :)

Andre said...

@ Joanne: Hmmm. Very interesting point.

Now that I think about it, you're absolutely correct. I suppose that even the expectations I put on people are conditionally based. For example, I'll say "If we're friends, then ___ should (or should not) happen." That's a condition.

That being said, I guess my issue isn't with the existence of conditional relationships but rather with the TYPES of conditional relationships that are out there (especially the ones I deal with). Thanks for pointing that out. You know, you're really amazing!

cynthia said...

Dre,

Sorry if I come across as crude, but why are you so bent on certain people anyway? From the sounds of it, you seem like a cool, smart, funny, down to Earth brother. Why waste your time dealing with people who OBVIOUSLY don't appreciate what you bring to the table? Let's put it this way: If you lived here in GA, I think I'd DEFINATELY look you up.

I don't know how it is in your part of the world (I've only been to Michigan twice, and that was Detroit), but I DO know that the world is a pretty big place. You wouldn't have any problems hooking up with like-minded, postive, and righteous people in other parts of the country (hell, even your state); not like these people I'm assuming your talking about now. Trust!

megan said...

Hi Andre,

I don't know if you remember me. I've read a few of your recent posts, but I didn't comment until now. I figured that with all the brew ha-ha building up, I might offer my two cents.

I compare your dilemma (if that’s a good word for it) to the parable of the prodigal son. He had to make some choices on what to do with his life. He took a path toward one life, with fun, partying, and "friends" that ultimately wound up being a lonely road; much like what you’ve described in this post. But once he thought about who he was and WHOSE HE WAS, he turned and went the other way. There, he found his father, happily waiting for him. I’m not trying to say that you’re self-centered like the prodigal son was. But, it IS possible that you’re misguided on what types of friends you need in your life. Are these people REALLY the types that you want to place your trust and friendship in?

Since you obviously have a good prayer life, you should ask God for the wisdom to make whatever moves you need to. Either way you go, its going to be difficult. But, just be careful to pray about which road is the correct one. That one is almost sure to have your happiness in God waiting at the end.

Thank you for blessing me with your website! :)

Joanne said...

To piggyback off of what Megan said (great job, by the way):

I love it when she said that the prodigal son went out and partied with his "friends", and then found himself lonely after they all abandoned him. When he returned home, his father had ANOTHER party for him; only this time the son was with people who loved him and accepted him, even when HE walked out on them.

Andre, even if your current relationships aren't fruitful for you (like those who abandoned the prodical son), I trust that you've got SOMEBODY waiting in the wings, ready to "party" with you (or, more spiritually speaking, ready to embrace you and welcome you into their life). Maybe that "somebody" is someone you don't even know yet!

Be encouraged, brother.

Joanne said...

Oops. I spelled "Prodigal" wrong. Sorry!

Natasha said...

Except for the occasion humor in your comment section, the tone of your post tells me that your really dealing with difficult problems. I just want to let you know that I'm praying for you, like you have for me!

It's great to see you joking and laughing, but I hope your TRUE feelings reflect that. God bless you, my friend!

Anonymous said...

this reminds me of another post you wrote before. do these have the same point? if so, what growth do you plan to make so that you don't keep revisiting the same topic over and over again?

Anonymous said...

what i mean by that is that i remember you saying that you like going back to some of your older posts and see how your opinions and beliefs have changed or grew. but if the same problems that were once bothering you are still bothering you, do you truly think thats progress?

J. Alex said...

Just in case you might still be entertaining the thought, Megan and Joanne did a terrific job of reaffirming the importance of not cutting off the whole world because of a few people. You never know who can be a blessing to you. But if you cut off EVERYONE, you'll lose SOMEONE!

Andre said...

@ Cynthia: I see your point, Cyn. Having visited siblings and friends who are in different parts of the country, I know there's a whole world out there. God willing, I plan to do some moving around once I finish grad school; especially while I'm looking for doctoral programs. In the meantime, I'm still here. That's where the challenge lies...

@ Megan: When I read your response, I was absolutely floored. That was such a terrific way of using one of Jesus' parables to illustrate the importance of decision-making and what roads to take. Thanks!

@ Joanne: As if Megan's comments weren't enough, you added more insight that I could take for one day!

You're probably right. For every person who might discount or disregard me, there's bound to be someone else who values and appreciates me...even if I haven't met them yet. Thanks for the encouragement. It was much needed.

By the way, I hope that you're not starting to get nit picky about spelling too! Sheesh!

KC said...

You've got quite the hot topic going on here. And to think, you didn't have to mention Bush ONCE!

Andre said...

@ Natasha: Hey Tash. What's been up?

As I've said before, I'm fine. I'm not depressed. I'm not miserable. I'm not even really all that disappointed. As far I see it, my feelings are all apart of a growing process. I think I just posted this to vent; not to show the world how sad, lonely, and pathetic I am, nor to find resolution.

A part of my blog intro mentions that some of writing involves "reflections". This is one of them...

@ anonymous: That's actually a great question; one that I can't say that I have an answer for. All I know is that -- as things bother me (whatever they are) -- I make it a point to discuss it; even if it's only to get somebody else's feedback. Perhaps my problem is not necessarily that I'm bothered by stuff; but that I keep bringing it up. But, that's why people like you keep me in line! :)

@ J. Alex: No arguement here. The only problem I have is in trying to hold out for the "somebodies" who will bless me with their relationship. Cybernetic friends are cool; but it pretty much ends when we log off of our computers. It's weird when the flesh and bones folks figuratively log me out of their lives (unless it's convenient for them not too). But, everything is everything I guess.

Thanks for your comments.

"Agent J" said...

A Lou,

I bet you didn't know that, despite your best efforts to conceal it, I actually DO know about your blog. Never underestimate my resourcefulness.

I'm pretty impressed by your site. But, I think I'm a little ticked about this post, if you're talking about me. You know that I NEVER place "conditions" on our friendship. It helps that my husband has no problem with you, but all the same, I would never compromise one relationship for another. Of course, being a wife requires me to honor and respect my husband (as he does with me), but I would NEVER go as far as to disregard you, ignore you, neglect you, or abandon you if my husband doesn't like it. You know me better than that. If this post is about somebody else, then forget what I just said. :)

By the way, I'm no psychic, but I picked up on a couple of subtle plugs about me that you tossed into your posts. Punk!

Be careful what you write, green eyes. You never know who's reading.

Andre said...

@ "Agent J": Uh...um...er...uh...

Hey. *ahem* What's...uh...up?

Dude, of course I wasn't talking about you. But I am curious about how you found out about my blog. Has your boy been talking again?! I'll kill him, I will...

"Agent J" said...

That's for me to know and for you to hopelessly ponder over.

ellena said...

In sort of keeping up with the theme of some people's ideas:

I think your picture is an interesting statement to a point that was raised in this discussion. In the picture, you have two people who appear to be by themselves. But the only thing separating them is the wall. Maybe you feel alone now, but your connection to somebody could be as close as going over to the next room.

If the relationships in your life aren't any good for you (and it sounds like they're not), maybe you need to visit the other side of the wall.

Megan said...

Andre, life is all about stepping out of what made you comfortable and walking toward things that are unknown. Maybe people "flaking" you is the best thing that has ever happened to you. Maybe it will give you the right push to expand your wings.

Don't see this as a lose or a bad thing. See it as YOUR gain and THEIR loss.

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre` my GREENEYED MAN


I AM A LITTLE PERPLEXED
without voice tones , facial expressions or lingering conversations it can be hard to pick up the meaningful content of ones words . was your friends comment which was darted at me , in a humorous tone , a warning , playful , , or sarcasm ??? Did I offend ????I know that many linger and read , waiting for something to strike them to comment , that is what it is all about , shall I take it in jest ???
G.

JD said...

Agent J! It's JD! Howya been!!!!
I hope that you know who this is...... :)
P.S. Andre, 51 remarks! This is a landmark!!!!!

Andre said...

@ J: I'll find out about your source. And when I do...

@ ellena: Wow. What a great observation! It's funny to note that the picture I used came from some artist who called it "Alone, but together". He was trying to depict the same message that you're suggesting. I'm speechless...

Thanks for your insight.

@ Megan: Maybe you're right. Some people who do great things do them while looking down the barrel of last resort. Tyler Perry for instance (though I really don't like him) made his fortune from those damn Medea plays. But, he wrote his first play JUST to get him off the streets. From there, he became who he is. Maybe desperation to get out of one situation could springboard us into better lives. Thanks!

@ Greeny: It's OK, my green-eyed love. She was talking to me. "Green eyes" was one of the nicknames she gave me when we were younger. Besides, she's harmless. You could wipe the floor up with her (yeah, J, I said it!) Sorry for the mix-up, greeny.

@ JD: I guess that controversy does sell. Dag!

JD said...

You wrote this post a long time ago...it was the longest post you ever wrote....in '94

monique said...

No that you have all of these wonderful responses, what are YOU going to do? Will there be any change in your actions, or is this something that we are going to read again?

that makes 54 wow!

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~ My Gem
Thank you , but your friend Agent J was kind enough to fill me in, I thought she was refering to me , 'Greeneyes' ,but she was refering to you as (nickname)Greeneyes !kinda funny now , and I always thought greeneyes were rare LOL apparently not on your blog . All is well in the world , thanks :A.(BOTH of you ) LOL
Greeneyes (the girl)

Andre said...

@ JD: If you keep it up, I'm gone have to run up through yo spot like CJ from San Andreas.

@ Monique: First, I think I'm gonna try to read all of these responses! Day-um!

But, seriously, I wasn't looking to change my actions necessarily. I think that what I was looking for people to tell me that I was either (1) justified for how I feel or (2) not justified for how I feel.

But, after getting lots (and lots, and lots) of insight, I think that it might be time for me to open the gates for a new population of friends or to be satisfied flying solo. It's likely that -- in some cases -- my past will STAY in the past. For me to expect anything else would be naive...

@ Greeny: I'm glad that the confusion was lifted. To the uninitiated eye, it's hard to tell what J is like. *wink*

Thanks for understanding!

Ho said...

“I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me, I'd like to be the help that you've been always glad to be; I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of the day, as you have meant old friend of mine, to me along the way.”
I found your blog from aldo, and i like what you wrote about here. It made me look through different quotes about friends through google and I liked this one. I have to say that there's no doubt that we're all better off with friends.
I mean, let's think about it, when you don't have any friends then what does that say about you? Would you really prefer to be alone, and if so, then why would you make a post where you're angry and depressed about being alone? Are other people looking to serve their own self-interests by being your friend? In a way, yeah, maybe, but when those self-interests include sharing laughter and love that they may have for you, then there's nothing wrong with that because that's what being alive is all about. I know you're not talking about a particular moment, but didn't hanging out with this girl at the jazz festival make you feel better than being alone? If you say it makes no difference, I'll believe you, but we would't know because that didn't happen. My point is that when there are people there to share with you and to feel with you, then it doesn't get any better because then you begin to understand yourself, and understand where your spirit and energy lies because what you see and how you feel about others is a reflection of what you see and feel about yourself...... I mean, you're trying to serve a self-interest of being human, and as far as I'm concerned that's not such a bad thing.

Andre said...

@ Ho (great name, by the way): I think I did a bad job of conveying the real point that I needed to make in this post. I kept using the term "alone" to sound like I was talking about disassociation from the whole world. But I actually meant "alone" within the context of my closest friends (who, in some sense, WERE the world to me. Maybe therein lies the problem.) So, all throughout the post, I kept asking myself "If my friends (my world) methodically started to erase me from their lives, would I better off without them (or, within the context of this post; better off 'alone')?"

But, comment by comment, I started to get a sense that I maybe I COULD develop close relationships with OTHER people; and to not feel so excluded. Maybe I COULD find relationships where my 'friends' were as concerned about my welfare as I was for theirs.

I completely agree with you when you say that friends enjoy sharing things and...well...themselves with those that they call friends. But when they don't share (or don't WANT to), that -- to me -- is an indication that maybe I need to start looking elsewhere. Please trust me when I say that I'm don't plan to isolate myself from the other quarter-billion in this country because of the antics of a few people...

Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Georgia Girl said...

Let me see if I can slide my two cents into this conversation, for what it might be worth (hard to compete with so many other comments and minds).

Andre, I think relationships are about give and take. If people are "flaking" you and leaving you all alone, ask yourself if you've ever done the same to them? If you have, then their behavior is more than justified. If not, that's a different story.

By the way, what part of GA are you from Cynthia?

Cynthia said...

I'm from Stone Mountain. What about you?

*Sorry for using your page as a form of communication to others Andre* :)

Andre said...

@ Georgia girl: I'd like to think that my behavior toward others hasn't been as mean and inconsiderate. If it has been, nobody's ever told me.

@ Cynthia: Cyn, I don't mind if you use my site to communicate with others. You're apart of my inner circle. Reap the benefits...